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Humanitarian Intervention And The Question Of Sovereignty: The Case Of Asean

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Chapter Summary

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has thrived as a regional institution that defends the traditional understanding of Westphalian sovereignty. In the post-Cold War era, however, pressure from within the international community to redefine sovereignty to accommodate humanitarian intervention has placed ASEAN in a difficult position. Historically, ASEAN has actively opposed the idea of humanitarian intervention. However, the ASEAN states have had to acknowledge that such a norm is emerging within the international society. Moreover, ASEAN's inconsistent defense of its professed values, particularly its reaction to the United States (US) invasion of Iraq, has undermined ASEAN's ability to defend the traditional definition of sovereignty. The American decision to attack Iraq was done without the approval of the United Nations and against the opposition of most of the world community.

Keywords: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); humanitarian intervention; international community; Iraq; post-Cold War era; United Nations; United States (US); Westphalian sovereignty



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